Kitty with pica finds his home

Ufro begins each morning by lightly tapping his mom’s face with his paws. “It’s really cute and we’ve come to a mutual understanding that a wake-up before 9 a.m. is not gonna happen,” says Jaquie Tristan, who recently adopted Ufro after seeing him online.

Ufro has a history eating strange things (such as plastic and dirt), a condition known as pica. He was brought from a Los Angeles shelter to the Sanctuary, where it was possible to better monitor and manage Ufro’s condition. After some time at the Sanctuary, Ufro was moved to the Best Friends Lifesaving Center in Salt Lake City — or more specifically, to a fantastic foster home.

Ufro the cat standing on a gray bed with a white background

Cat with special needs gets adopted in no time

Ufro the cat sitting on the arm of a chairUfro was in his foster home for less than a week when Jaquie saw him on the Best Friends website. She never had a cat before, but after doing some research she knew what kind of cat she was looking for, and when she came across Ufro’s handsome profile, she knew he was the one.

“I was looking for a cat with a friendly and affectionate nature,” says Jaquie. “I wanted a cat who would be more of a companion than a roommate and who liked to hang out and make new friends. When I read his adoption bio, he had those qualities.”

Ufro is also good with dogs, and since Jaquie has a long-haired dachshund named Pennie, it seemed like the perfect fit.

Since the lifesaving center was temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the staff arranged for Jaquie to do a virtual meet-and-greet with Ufro’s foster family. During the call, she was able to share a little screen time with Ufro and discuss the best ways she could help him with his pica. She learned Ufro’s biggest challenge was staying away from plastic, and so she went through her apartment and moved all plastic items to what she now calls the "forbidden closet.”

No problem adjusting to a new home

When Jaquie brought Ufro home he immediately started exploring, and then plopped himself into her lap.

“Ufro’s definitely more interested in my dog, Pennie, than she is him. He tries to play with her but she likes to pretend she doesn’t notice,” says Jaquie, pointing out with amusement that Pennie is more catlike (prefers to do her own thing), while Ufro is more social, like most dogs. When someone comes to Jaquie’s door, it’s Ufro who greets them.

Now Ufro spends his days snoozing in his pink chair, watching squirrels from the windowsill and sleeping on Jaquie’s keyboard while she’s trying to work. “He’s totally unbothered by getting picked up, dancing around the kitchen and cuddles with me every night,” says Jaquie. “I know I made the right choice.”

Help more cats like Ufro go to happy new homes

Ufro the cat lying upside down on a wooden piece of furniture

Best Friends in Utah works collaboratively with animal rescue groups, city shelters and passionate individuals, all dedicated to the mission of making Utah a no-kill state. As part of this mission, Best Friends hosts adoption and fundraising events, runs the Best Friends Lifesaving Center in Salt Lake City, operates a spay/neuter clinic and leads the No-Kill Utah (NKUT) initiative. Together, we will Save Them All.

Photos by Jaquie Tristan, Molly Wald and Lori Fusaro